Lamington Fingers

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Prep 40min (+ 20min cooling time)
Bake 20min
Makes about 15

Who doesn't love a lamington? Believe it or not, this iconic Australian cake dates back over 100 years. These lamingtons of mine are based on a super simple, super quick, one-bowl recipe that requires no fussing at all. It is baked in a thin layer and then cut into fingers – the resulting lamingtons don't have the height of the traditionally sized ones, but it does mean you get more chocolate icing and coconut with each piece of butter cake – a little cheeky, but definitely a good thing! Feel free to use desiccated or flaked coconut instead of the shredded, depending on what 'look' you want for your lamingtons.


195g (3 cups) shredded coconut, to coat


    110g (¾ cup) self-raising flour
    75g (½ cup) plain flour
    165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
    125g salted butter, at room temperature
    80ml (⅓ cup) milk
    2 eggs, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or essence

      Chocolate icing

      465g (3¾ cups) pure icing sugar
      55g (¼ cup) cocoa powder
      150ml boiling water
      1½ teaspoons vanilla essence


        1. To make the buttercake, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 20 x 30cm (base measurement) shallow cake tin and line the base and two longs sides with one piece of baking paper.
        2. Place both the flours, sugar, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is well combined and very pale in colour. Spoon the mixture into the lined tin and spread evenly using the back of a spoon.
        3. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.
        4. Cut the cooled cake into 15 equal ‘fingers’ (each will be about 4 x 10cm).
        5. To make the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add the boiling water and vanilla and stir until smooth (it should be the consistency of pouring cream).
        6. Spread the coconut on a tray or plate. Rest a cake ‘finger’ on a fork and dip it into the icing to coat (see Baker’s tips). Lift it out and allow any extra icing to drip off. Roll the cake ‘finger’ in the coconut to coat evenly. Place on a wire rack to set. Repeat with the remaining cake ‘fingers’, icing and coconut.

        Baker's Tips

        • You can also spoon the icing over the cake to help coat it.
        • If the icing becomes too thick while you are coating the cake pieces, stir in enough extra boiling water, adding it a teaspoon at a time, to thin to the right consistency.
        • These lamingtons will keep in an airtight container in a cool spot, but not in the fridge, for up to 2 days.

        This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column Bakeproof: Lamingtons. CLICK HERE for more Bakeproof recipes.

        Photography by Alan Benson.